Honda Classic 2013 Tee Times: Top Groups to Watch in Round 2

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - JANUARY 31: Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 31, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Honda Classic features a lot of the biggest names in golf, including the two players who probably attract more attention than everybody else on the PGA Tour combined, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. They are also the top two players in the rankings.

As always, the second round is crucial for two reasons. For players in the middle of the pack, it's a chance to get into contention heading into the weekend. For players hovering around the cut line, it's time to step up and survive to play a couple more days.

Let's take a look at three groups worth keeping an eye on throughout the day on Friday. For a complete list of groups and tee times, visit the tour's official site. All times Eastern.


Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Mark Wilson (7:25 a.m.)

McIlroy continues to adjust to his new Nike equipment. It's equal parts mental hurdle and physical battle, as he tries to commit to the same shots as he did with his old clubs, but his talent will eventually start shining through once again.

He's joined by Ernie Els, who like McIlroy was eliminated in the first round of the match play event last week, and will be looking to get back on track. The wily veteran has been hit and miss in recent years, and that also describes his opening round.

The lesser-known member of the group is Mark Wilson, who's still searching for his game after missing three cuts in his first five starts. Perhaps another round with McIlroy and Els will be the spark he needs to find a groove.


Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Lee Westwood (7:35 a.m.)

Keegan Bradley, best known for his triumph in the 2011 PGA Championship, suffered an upset at the hands of Marcus Fraser last week. He showed no ill effects in the opening round, however, dropping a couple birdies on the front nine.

He'll play alongside Rickie Fowler, a fellow American and one of the most frustrating players to watch on tour. One week he'll look like a star in the making and the next he will miss the cut. The potential is there, though, and he's off to a solid start.

Rounding out the high-profile group is Lee Westwood. The Englishman has never been able to get over the hump in a major tournament, but he's always a contender at these smaller events and this week should be no different.


Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer (12:25 p.m.)

It sure seems like Woods is gearing up for some strong major performances this season. He's already won the Farmers Insurance Open and has eliminated the extended periods of poor play. He needs to make a move on Friday after an even-par start.

Woods was overshadowed in the opening round by Dustin Johnson, who posted a four-under 66. The play from Thursday to Saturday has never been an issue for the big-hitting American, though. It's keeping pace on Sunday that's plagued him.

The popular duo is joined by Martin Kaymer. He reached the top ranking in world back in 2011, but has struggled to find that form over the past few years. The German star needs a good showing in the second round to make the weekend.